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Theology of the Body Institute Names Executive Director

1/4/2012 - 8:31 AM PST

Catholic PRWire

For More Information:
Alexis Walkenstein, 561-445-5409
Tim Lilley, 678-990-9032

Marriage and Family Life Leader, Damon Owens, appointed head of educational organization

EXTON, PA (January 4, 2012) - The Theology of the Body Institute announced this week that Damon Owens, well-known Catholic speaker and lecturer, is joining the seven-year-old organization as its Executive Director.

"We are very pleased to appoint such an outstanding Catholic leader to this position at the Theology of the Body Institute," said David Savage, Theology of the Body Institute board chair. "Damon has been committed to the work of the Institute for many years, and his passion and enthusiasm for our mission to educate and train men and women in the message of the Theology of the Body is matched by his experience in working to build a culture of life over the last 16 years."

Savage explained that Owens' expertise comes at just the right time for the Theology of the Body Institute, as the organization prepares for a new phase of growth across the country with programs and resources offered by its faculty and staff. "Damon will be the first Executive Director of our organization, and we are fortunate to have him," said Savage.

Damon Owens has more than 15 years of executive experience in the business world, managing divisions of multi-million dollar technology companies. In 2002, Owens left the for-profit sector to commit his career to full-time work in marriage and family ministry. He has served as Natural Family Planning and Marriage Preparation Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Newark, founded two non-profit organizations (New Jersey Natural Family Planning Association and Joy-Filled Marriage New Jersey), and led initiatives for various pro-life and pro-family organizations such as the New Jersey Catholic Bishops Conference, The Children First Foundation, and Life Education And Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N.), the largest African-American, pro-life ministry in the country.

Most recently, as Executive Director of the Children First Foundation, Owens managed the launch of the New Jersey Choose Life license plate project. This project hopes to raise $1 million per year for pregnancy help centers to promote adoption.

Owens is a certified speaker for the Theology of Body Institute and has been lecturing for the organization since 2005. He is a certified trainer for a teen formation series on the Theology of the Body as well as a marriage preparation program currently being used in more than 30 dioceses. Owens is also a certified NFP instructor who has counseled over 20,000 couples over the last 16 years. Owens often appears on Catholic television and radio sharing various aspects of the theology of the body, as well as commentating on topics related to marriage and family. He and his wife, Melanie, have been married for 18 years and have eight children.

"For many years, I have partnered with the Theology of the Body Institute in their mission to spread this beautiful teaching on human identity," Owens said. "Now as Executive Director, I am thrilled with the opportunity to add my business background to this partnership. I am more committed than ever to the Institute's goals of educating minds, transforming hearts, and changing lives with the Theology of the Body."

Between September of 1979 and November of 1984, the late Pope John Paul II devoted his first major teaching project of his pontificate to providing a profoundly beautiful vision of human embodiment and sexuality. Taught in a series of 129 short talks, this body of work has been referred to as "one of the boldest reconfigurations of Catholic theology in centuries." Today, the Theology of the Body Institute [TOBI] has taken on the Blessed John Paul II's teaching, and educates and trains men and women in what is now known globally as the Theology of the Body.

In 2011, the TOBI offered six separate week-long certification-program courses attended by more than 450 students, including attendees from seven countries outside the United States. More than 50 priests and religious, as well as leadership at both the parish and diocesan levels comprised the student attendees. Additionally, through its On-Site Speaker Program, TOBI speakers, including the newly appointed Damon Owens, presented the Theology of the Body message to more than 3,800 people in 13 states.

ABOUT THE THEOLOGY OF THE BODY INSTITUTE: Philadelphia-based Theology of the Body Institute is a leading apostolate promoting Blessed John Paul II's Theology of the Body at a popular level to both the Christian and the secular cultures. Through their Certification Program, On-Site Speaker Program, Clergy Enrichment Program and the National Theology of the Body Congress, the Theology of the Body Institute desires to permeate persons in every state of life with an understanding on what it means to be created in God's image and to live out their call to love as He loves. Learn more at:

To schedule an interview with Damon Owens, please contact Alexis Walkenstein (561-445-5409 or or Tim Lilley (678-990-9032 or both with The Maximus Group.

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